Few of us will ever experience the horror and almost certain tragedy of being locked in a burning car with no means of escape. But one woman has, and she’s lived to tell the tale.
One year has passed since Spokane, Washington, resident Kim Novak met the police officer she calls her guardian angel.
Spokane Police Officer Tim Schwering courageously pulled Novak from her burning car, a rescue she says changed her life.
You may recall the story of Novak, who was driving her electric vehicle home from the grocery store on a cold January night.
Out of nowhere, her car lost all power — she couldn’t unlock the doors, couldn’t roll down the windows, nothing — she was helplessly trapped inside her vehicle.
Smoke began to pour out of the engine’s hood, which quickly turned to flames. Novak recalled wondering whether she’d die from the smoke inhalation or the flames — and then, Schwering showed up.
The officer managed a daring rescue, cracking the glass with his baton and using his own hands to create an opening large enough for Novak to pass through. “It still crosses my mind every time I get into a car,” Novak told KREM-TV.
Novak admits the incident still haunts her on occasion, but she is incredibly grateful for her life and for the hero who saved her.
Novak recalled how Schwering checked up on her in the days following the incident, bringing ice cream and wine to offer a little cheer and support.
“If there was anybody you would want to save you it’s him,” Novak expressed. “He didn’t have to follow up but he’s just that good of a guy.”
Neither one of them expected the heart-pounding body cam footage of Schwering’s rescue would make national headlines. The pair even ended up on the Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about the rescue.
2017 was somewhat of a roller coaster year, Novak admitted, but overall, she’s doing well. While some days she wishes she could just forget the traumatizing scene, Novak knows that light dispels darkness.
“I want it to be behind me,” she admitted. “But it can’t be completely behind me because I have to be grateful for being alive and for Tim for saving me.”
At the end of the day, Novak knows she wouldn’t be alive without Schwering. As scary as it was to be trapped inside her burning car, Novak believes God placed the police officer in her path that night.
“Divine intervention, by the grace of God — whatever you want to say — he came to my rescue,” Novak told CNN. “Because I wouldn’t have made it. I honestly believe I would have perished in there.”
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